21 Mar 2023

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Stacked - EP Review: Crushed By The Sky

15 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Last month saw the gig of the year, Third Time Lucky, which was organised and headlined by Written By Wolves. I had seen every band on the bill play prior to that night except for openers Stacked who were brand new to me and to many in the audience. I asked Mikey who they were and why they were on the bill, and he told me he had approached Smokefree Rockquest to find a band to showcase, and this was who they recommended. It turned out they had made it to the national finals for two consecutive years and won the Tamaki Makaurau People's Choice Award in 2021 and had also been organising their own all ages gigs. Everyone was impressed that night, and I am sure that anyone into melodic hardcore will grab this and ask the question everyone keeps asking, are they really that young?

This EP is comprised of songs written a few years ago when the guys were 17 and comprises both of their recent three-track EP’s as well as a re-recording of their debut single. Remain, from the beginning of last year, giving us 7 tracks with a total length of 20 minutes. Comprising Tyler Jamieson on vocals, Aidan Wright and Benji Perez on guitars, Connor McNab on bass, Alasdair Miller on drums, they have a somewhat unusual approach in that in many ways it sounds as if they are producing a music sandwich, with Tyler on one side, Alasdair on the other, with the rest of the guys going hell for leather in the middle. Of all the musicians that night, the one which surprised me most was Alasdair as he appeared determined to wreck Karl’s kit before anyone had the chance to play it, as not only was he an octopus driving different rhythms and styles, but he was also hitting it incredibly hard. There is so much going on at the back that it makes sense for the bass to link in with the guitars to provide additional depth to the melody so there is plenty of room for everyone to be heard. Then at the front we have a singer who does not sound as if he is only just old enough to drink but comes across as if he has been doing this for many years. All the guys sound like seasoned pros, and one can hear why they have been picked up by the label as they have the chops and songs to back up their confidence, and I am sure that with next year (hopefully) being back to normal in terms of gigs all year, then we are going to be hearing a lot more from these guys.

Controlled yet aggressive, dissonant at times yet melodic, straight ahead but complex, this EP demonstrates the depth that can be heard within melodic hardcore and is certainly worthy of investigation by lovers of the genre. Play loud.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Stacked

Stacked are a melodic hardcore band from Tamaki Makaurau. Emerging from multiple years of success through Smokefree Rockquest and packing out various council venues they've solidified themselves as a staple of the all-ages scene.

2022 sees Stacked working hard to move into R18 venues and finishing their debut EP. With influences ranging from math-rock to hardcore, Stacked's energy onstage is something that has provided them success over the past few years and is something that must be seen by all fans of heavier music.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Stacked


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Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

On Tick - EP Review: Planet Chrome
17 Mar 2023 // by Kev Rowland
When On Tick released their debut album, Nothing New, towards the end of 2021 they were already in a state of change as it was recorded as a trio of brothers Brendan (vocals and drums) and Aidan O'Loughlin (vocals, guitar) along with bassist Matt Hammond, who also produced it, but they had now brought in Matt Perry to play bass while Matt H had moved to lead guitar. In 2023 things have changed again as Matt H is now concentrating on Pale Flag, while Matt P is also not involved any longer, so it is back to just Brendan and Aidan.
Written By Wolves - Single Review: Give 'Em Hell
16 Mar 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Written by Wolves may not have released any new material in 2022, but everyone knew the boys were working on their next album, and if you were fortunate enough to see them play then you will have already heard Give 'Em Hell as they were using this track as the opening number. In many ways this encapsulates everything which is Written By Wolves in one song – if you want to know why so many of us keep raving about them, then this will demonstrate why.
Anthony Coulter - Single Review: Younger
16 Mar 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Anthony Coulter’s album Pilgrimage To the Sea, where he says he is not getting any younger, something I can really relate to given I am 60 in just a few months and certainly act a lot more than I used to. Mind you, I don’t think every day is the same, which is the same for Anthony who yearns to be younger.
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